Information Technology & Tourism

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 341–364 | Cite as

A detailed method for destination image analysis using user-generated content

  • Estela Marine-Roig
  • Salvador Anton Clavé
Original Research


Social media and user-generated content (UGC) have revolutionized tourism and hospitality communication and are seen as rich sources of information for destination image analysis. Many articles have been published about travel-related UGC, in particular, quantitative and qualitative content analysis of travel blogs and online travel reviews (OTR). Researchers have typically analysed small samples of population-representative travel diaries (tens or hundreds of files), which allow for manual processing. However, the enormous growth of OTRs requires operationalization through computerized methods, and the aim of this article is to propose a detailed method for semi-automatic downloading, arrangement, cleaning, debugging, and analysis of large-scale travel blogs and OTR data. This enables the classification of collected webpages by dates and destinations and offline content analysis of the text as written by the tourist. More than 130,000 useful trip diaries of tourists who visited Catalonia between 2004 and 2014 have been gathered, and significant results have been obtained in terms of content analysis in relation to destination image.


Travel blog Online travel review Web harvesting Web data mining Massive content analysis Catalonia 



This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness [Grant id.: MOVETUR CSO2014-51785-R].


  1. Abburu S, Babu GS (2013) A framework for web information extraction and analysis. Int J Comp Technol 7:574–579Google Scholar
  2. Albastroiu I, Felea M (2014) The implications of user-generated content websites for tourism marketing. Int J Eco Pract Theor 4:222–229Google Scholar
  3. Amaral F, Tiago T, Tiago F (2014) User-generated content: tourists’ profiles on TripAdvisor. Int J Strategic Innov Marketing 1:137–147. doi: 10.15556/IJSIM.01.03.002 Google Scholar
  4. Anton Clavé S, Gonzalez F (2008) A proposito del turismo: La construccion social del espacio turistico [About tourism: The social construction of tourist space]. Editorial UOC, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
  5. Baggio R, Corigliano MA (2009) On the importance of hyperlinks: A network science approach. In: Hopken W, Gretzel U, Law R (eds), Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2009, Springer, Austria, pp 309-318. doi:  10.1007/978-3-211-93971-0_26
  6. Banyai M, Glover TD (2012) Evaluating research methods on travel blogs. J Travel Res 51:267–277. doi: 10.1177/0047287511410323 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cakmak E, Isaac RK (2012) What destination marketers can learn from their visitors’ blogs: an image analysis of Bethlehem, Palestine. J Destination Marketing Manag 1:124–133. doi: 10.1016/j.jdmm.2012.09.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chau M, Xu J (2012) Business intelligence in blogs: understanding consumer interactions and communities. MIS Q 36:1189–1216Google Scholar
  9. CTB (2015) Press Pack’15. Catalan Tourist Board. Accessed 31 July 2015
  10. Datzira-Masip J, Poluzzi A (2014) Brand architecture management: the case of four tourist destinations in Catalonia. J Dest Market Manag 3:48–58. doi: 10.1016/j.jdmm.2013.12.006 Google Scholar
  11. Dwyer L, Gill A, Seetaram N (eds) (2014) Handbook of research methods in tourism: quantitative and qualitative approaches, Reprint edn. Edward Elgar Publishing, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  12. Eurostat (2015) Tourism. Eurostat regional yearbook 2015. Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, pp 189–206Google Scholar
  13. Fang B, Ye Q, Kucukusta D, Law R (2016) Analysis of the perceived value of online tourism reviews: influence of readability and reviewer characteristics. Tour Manag 52:498–506. doi: 10.1016/j.tourman.2015.07.018 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gonzalez R (2010) Estudi exploratori de les marques turistiques de Catalunya a la Web 2.0 [Exploratory study of tourist brands of Catalonia to Web 2.0]. Vivential Value, Barcelona, CataloniaGoogle Scholar
  15. Guo L, Li Z, Sun W (2015) Understanding travel destinations from structured tourism blogs. WHICEB 2015 Proceedings, pp 144–151. Accessed 31 Mai 2015
  16. Gursoy D, Uysal M, Sirakaya-Turk E, Ekinci Y, Baloglu S (2015) Handbook of scales in tourism and hospitality research. CABi, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  17. Johnson PA, Sieber RE, Magnien N, Ariwi J (2012) Automated web harvesting to collect and analyse user-generated content for tourism. Curr Issues Tourism 15:293–299. doi: 10.1080/13683500.2011.555528 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kladou S, Mavragani E (2015) Assessing destination image: an online marketing approach and the case of TripAdvisor. J Destination Market Manag 4:187–193. doi: 10.1016/j.jdmm.2015.04.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Koltringer C, Dickinger A (2015) Analyzing destination branding and image from online sources: a web content mining approach. J Bus Res 68:1836–1843. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2015.01.011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kotler P, Haider DH, Rein I (1993) Marketing places: Attracting investment, industry and tourism to cities, states and nations. The Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Krawczyk M, Xiang Z (2015) Perceptual mapping of hotel brands using online reviews: a text analytics approach. Inf Technol Tourism. doi: 10.1007/s40558-015-0033-0 (in press) Google Scholar
  22. Lai LSL, To WM (2015) Content analysis of social media: a grounded theory approach. J Electronic Commerce Res 16:138–152. Accessed 31 May 2015
  23. Law R, Cheung S (2010) The perceived destination image of Hong Kong as revealed in the travel blogs of mainland Chinese tourists. Int J Hospitality Tour Administration 11:303–327. doi: 10.1080/15256480.2010.518521 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Li YR, Lin YC, Tsai PH, Wang YY (2015) Traveller-generated contents for destination image formation: mainland China travellers to Taiwan as a case study. J Travel Tourism Marketing 32:518–533. doi: 10.1080/10548408.2014.918924 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Liu B (2011) Web data mining: exploring hyperlinks, contents, and usage data. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Llodra-Riera I, Martinez-Ruiz MP, Jimenez-Zarco AI, Izquierdo-Yusta A (2015) A multidimensional analysis of the information sources construct and its relevance for destination image formation. Tour Manag 48:319–328. doi: 10.1016/j.tourman.2014.11.012 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lu W, Stepchenkova S (2015) User-generated content as a research mode in tourism and hospitality applications: topics, methods, and software. J Hospitality Marketing Manag 24:119–154. doi: 10.1080/19368623.2014.907758 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Marchiori E, Onder I (2015) Reframing the image of a destination: A pre-post study on social media exposure. In: Tussyadiah I, Inversini A (eds), Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2015, Springer, Switzerland, pp 335–347. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-14343-9_25Google Scholar
  29. Marine-Roig E (2013) From the projected to the transmitted image: the 2.0 construction of tourist destination image and identity in Catalonia. PhD dissertation. Accessed 31 May 2015
  30. Marine-Roig E (2014) A webometric analysis of travel blogs and reviews hosting: the case of Catalonia. J Travel Tourism Marketing 31:381–396. doi: 10.1080/10548408.2013.877413 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Marine-Roig E (2015a) Identity and authenticity in destination image construction. Anatolia Int J Tourism and Hospitality Res 26:574–587. doi: 10.1080/13032917.2015.1040814 Google Scholar
  32. Marine-Roig E (2015b) Religious tourism versus secular pilgrimage: The basilica of La Sagrada Familia. Int J Religious Tourism Pilgrimage 3:25–37. Accessed 31 July 2015
  33. Marine-Roig E, Anton Clave S (2015) Tourism analytics with massive user-generated content: a case study of Barcelona. J Destination Marketing Manag 4:162–172. doi: 10.1016/j.jdmm.2015.06.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Michael C (2014, May 6) From Milan to Mecca: the world’s most powerful city brands revealed. TheGuardian, News, Cities, City brand. Accessed 31 Mai 2015
  35. Minazzi R (2015) Social media marketing in tourism and hospitality. Springer, ChamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Moens MF, Li J, Chua TS (eds) (2014) Mining user generated content. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  37. Munar AM (2012) Social media strategies and destination management. Scand J Hospitality Tourism 12:101–120. doi: 10.1080/15022250.2012.679047 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Munar AM, Jacobsen JS (2013) Trust and involvement in tourism social media and web-based travel information sources. Scand J Hospitality and Tourism 13:1–19. doi: 10.1080/15022250.2013.764511 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pan B, MacLaurin T, Crotts JC (2007) Travel blogs and the implications for destination marketing. J Travel Res 46:35–45. doi: 10.1177/0047287507302378 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schmunk S, Hopken W, Fuchs M, Lexhagen M (2014) Sentiment analysis: Extracting decision-relevant knowledge from UGC. In: Xiang Z, Tussyadiah L (eds), Information and communication technologies in tourism 2014, Springer, Switzerland, pp 253–265. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-03973-2_19Google Scholar
  41. Schuckert M, Liu X, Law R (2015a) Hospitality and tourism online reviews: recent trends and future directions. J Travel Tourism Marketing 32:608–621. doi: 10.1080/10548408.2014.933154 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schuckert M, Liu X, Law R (2015b) Insights into suspicious online ratings: direct evidence from TripAdvisor. Asia Pacific J Tourism Res. doi: 10.1080/10941665.2015.1029954 (in press) Google Scholar
  43. Serna A, Marchiori E, Gerrikagoitia JK, Alzua-Sorzabal A, Cantoni L (2015) An auto-coding process for testing the cognitive-affective and conative model of destination image. In: Tussyadiah I, Inversini A (eds), Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2015, Springer, Switzerland, pp 111–122. doi:  10.1007/978-3-319-14343-9_9
  44. Sigala M, Christou E, Gretzel U (eds) (2012) Social media in travel, tourism and hospitality: Theory, practice and cases. Ashgate Publishing, SurreyGoogle Scholar
  45. Standing C, Tang-Taye JP, Boyer M (2014) The impact of the Internet in travel and tourism: a research review 2001–2010. J Travel Tourism Marketing 31:82–113. doi: 10.1080/10548408.2014.861724 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. UNESCO (2000) Archaeological ensemble of tarraco. world heritage list. Accessed 31 May 2015
  47. UNESCO (2005) Works of Antoni Gaudi. world heritage list. Accessed 31 May 2015
  48. Wahsheh HA, Alsmadi IM, Al-Kabi MN (2012) Analyzing the popular words to evaluate spam in Arabic web pages. Res Bull Jordan ACM 2:22–26Google Scholar
  49. Wang Y, Morais DB (2014) An examination of tourists’ identity in tourist weblogs. Inf Technol Tourism 14:239–260. doi: 10.1007/s40558-014-0016-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wang Y, Chan SC, Ngai G, Leong HV (2013) Quantifying reviewer credibility in online tourism. In: Decker H et al (eds) DEXCA 2013 Proceedings of 24th International Conference: Database and Expert Systems Applications. Czech Republic, Prague, pp 381–395Google Scholar
  51. Xiang Z, Schwartz Z, Uysal M (2015) What types of hotels make their guests (un)happy? Text analytics of customer experiences in online reviews. In: Tussyadiah I, Inversini A (eds), Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2015, Springer, Switzerland, pp 33–45. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-14343-9_3Google Scholar
  52. Yadav Y, Yadav PK (2011) Site Content Analyzer in context of keyword density and key phrase. Int J Comp Technol Appl 2:860–872Google Scholar
  53. Ying T, Norman WC, Zhou Y (2014) Online networking in the tourism industry: a webometrics and hyperlink network analysis. J Travel Res. doi: 10.1177/0047287514532371 Google Scholar
  54. Zeng B, Gerritsen R (2014) What do we know about social media in tourism? A review. Tourism Manag Persp 10:27–36. doi: 10.1016/j.tmp.2014.01.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business Administration and Economic Management of Natural Resources (AEGERN)University of LleidaCataloniaSpain
  2. 2.Research Group on Territorial Analysis and Tourism Studies (GRATET)Rovira i Virgili UniversityCataloniaSpain

Personalised recommendations